If you are an avid worshiper of Christ and attend church on a regular basis, you probably already know what a fantastic worship experience is to you, right? Or, maybe you don’t attend church as often as you might because your past worship experiences never hit the mark. Having been to church more than many, I see the gamut and know that even when one person is soaring in their version of a worship service, another may be unaffected. There are many factors that contribute to why there is so much disparity, but I think I found ten reasons that will aid you in your experience of worship. I hope these help you!
1. Foster good relationships
Nothing sours a worship experience more than when a worshipper has unresolved conflict as they arrive at church—especially so if with a brother or sister in Christ! Jesus said to “leave the altar” and make it right with that brother or sister for a reason. Our horizontal relationships when healthy allow us to be free to worship.
2. Learn the routine:
If your church service always starts 5 minutes late and you keep coming way early, you might be disappointed at why people show up late. Acquire the culture and embrace it! If you were to go to a Brazilian BBQ and complain that they are rude to vegans you miss the point! (No offense to vegans, by the way.)
3. Don’t keep score
One Sunday the message blew you away. Unfortunately, the next week you were not as captivated by the sermon. Keeping score is not the point of a good experience, is it? A shorter memory can then serve you well. What if you simply saw each Sunday as something new to experience rather than something to compare to what you had before?
4. Try something new
We often look at worship like our favorite breakfast cafe where we are regulars. What if you tried something new on the menu? This might mean if you never have sat on the left side of the sanctuary you choose to sit on the right. Or, what if you stayed for the refreshment time and met a new person? The opportunities to try something “new” abound!
5. Be in a pack
When we come to church “alone” we lose the power of a gathering. While it is good to be in healthy relationships, it is even better to have cohorts who actually desire to experience God in a more meaningful, deeper way. Knowing that a brother or sister is experiencing something more than you inspires you share in that. Experiences are meant to be shared!
6. Celebrate a moment
While keeping score is bad, it is good to remind ourselves of what worked for us. What moment before, during, or after the service did we experience something from God? Surely, if we look for it, there might be more to celebrate than we originally imagined.
7. Promote the good
While it is good to remind ourselves of the good, why not express that sentiment to others? Tell a friend or put on Facebook a blurb about your growing connection to God and see what doors open for you and those who know you!
8. Learn to see God
What is it about God that you look for at church each week? Many of the things we feel disappointed about in our experiences have little to do with things God does! We look to the vehicle of our worship more than the object of our worship. Raising hands might be a means to help me focus, but it is not God. My emotions might be a help at times but can be the opposite as well. What is God and what is not?
9. Own the issue
The worship team might be off-key or unprepared on a particular weekend. Maybe the pastor repeated a sermon he preached six times in the past four years. The building may be too cold in the winter or too warm in the summer. Blame shifting to your leaders or even the building is not an excuse. Sure, it does not help to have terrible leadership if that is the case. Taking ownership may open you up to experience the presence of God.
10. Believe God is there
While we can work on many tactical matters of our posture in worship, the fact is this: we must believe God’s presence is a constant reality. In this reality, corporate worship offers a unique magnification of His presence through His word and the table we sit at together. Do you believe God is here in our worship?
What other ideas and thoughts can you share that might help us have fantastic worship experiences?